Water-Related News

Florida Fishery Foundation provides oysters on a rope for water filtration

On Saturday, May 21, Florida Fishery Foundation president George Halper gathered with the scouts in Matlacha to collect oyster shells from restaurants like the Lazy Flamingo and Miceli’s in order to help keep local waters clean.

“We drill a hole, and put a rope through them. We tie a knot about every three or four inches, so we have a chain of oysters,” Halper said. “We tie the rope to the docks and lift it just off the bottom. It structured for fish immediately. Because oysters are clean it’s a clean substrate. Baby oysters, called spat, now have something to attach to. In about a year or two, each of these oyster shells will have anywhere between 4 and 40 oysters on them. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”

Each live oyster, he said, takes about a year to mature and will filter up to 50 gallons of water per day. In roughly two years, he predicts over 20 million gallons of water per year will be processed through this natural filtration system.

Halper said this system is a better use of the shells than dumping them in a landfill, adding that this provides a wonderful structure for snook, snapper and various other fish to call home.